Sting as an activist
Sting was one of the most famous rock singers and one of those who are also famous about their activism for human rights, third world poverty and environmentalism. We read in wikipedia:
While with the Police, Sting wrote "Driven to tears," an angry indictment of apathy in the face of world hunger, and it preceded his work on Sir Bob Geldof's "Feed The World" project. Sting sang on "Do They Know It's Christmas?" -- a hit single from Geldof's pop music super-group called "Band Aid" which eventually led to the Live Aid Concert in July of 1985, in which Sting also took part, performing with Branford Marsalis, Phil Collins, and with the group Dire Straits.
Throughout the 1980s, Sting strongly supported environmentalism and humanitarian movements, such as Amnesty International. In 1986 he was interviewed by the BBC about the origins of his support for Amnesty International and he stated: "I've been a member of Amnesty and a support member for five years, due to an entertainment event called The Secret Policeman's Ball and before that I did not know about Amnesty, I did not know about its work, I did not know about torture in the world."
The summit of his many contributions to the human-rights cause came in 1988, when he joined a team of other major musicians - including Peter Gabriel and Bruce Springsteen - assembled under the banner of Amnesty International for the six-week world tour Human Rights Now! Tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In 1988, he released the single "They Dance Alone" which chronicled the plight of the mothers, wives and daughters of the "disappeared", the innocent victims of the Pinochet regime in Chile. Unable to publicly voice their grievances to the government about their missing loved ones, for fear that they would "go missing" too, the women of Chile would pin photos of their "disappeared" relatives on their clothing, and dance in silent outrage against the government in public places.
With his wife Trudie Styler and Raoni Metuktire, a Kayapó Indian leader in Brazil, Sting founded the Rainforest Foundation (see details below) to help save the rainforests. His support for these causes continues to this day, and includes an annual benefit concert held at New York's Carnegie Hall with Billy Joel, Elton John, James Taylor and other music superstars. A species of Colombian tree frog, Dendropsophus stingi, was named after him in recognition of his "commitment and efforts to save the rain forest" (see details below)
Sting and his wife Trudie Styler were awared the Peace Abbey Courage of Conscience award in Sherborn Mass on June 30th, 2000. Singer/song writer, documentary film producers for their commitment to the environment through the establishment of the Rainforest Foundation; to human rights in China through the documentary film on Tiananmen Square; and to peace and social justice through the powerful gift of song.
Sting is known to support cannabis reclassification in the United Kingdom. Following Tony Blair's intention to revoke the rescheduling of cannabis executed in January 2006, he has joined a list of prominent figures who have written to the Prime Minister urging him to keep cannabis as a class C drug.
The Rainforest Foundation
We read in Rainforest Foundation homepage:
The Rainforest Foundation supports people living in and around the world's rainforests to protect the environment and fulfil their rights to land, life and livelihood. The work of the Rainforest Foundation spans all major tropical rainforest regions with projects in 18 countries.
The Rainforest Foundation provides financial support for practical projects run by local organisations and indigenous peoples' associations. These projects aim to secure forest peoples' rights and livelihoods, and to protect and sustainbly manage tropical rainforests.
We also provide help in identifying, developing and fundraising for projects, and helping local organisations to manage their work once they get started.
All the projects supported by the Rainforest Foundation aim to help local organisations in tropical countries become more indepedent and self-sustaining.
In 15 years the Rainforest Foundation has already protected over 115,000 sq km. Current projects aim to save nearly 1million sq km of rainforest - an area the combined size of UK, France and Ireland.
We also read in the police webpage:
When Sting and Trudie Styler first met Chief Raoni Mentuktire, a leader of Brazil’s Kayapo Indians, he talked about his dream to save his people and their land from being devastated. As a result of this meeting, Sting and Trudie founded the Rainforest Foundation in 1988. After five years of work, the Menkragnoti Territory in the Amazon, an area the size of Switzerland (17,000 square miles), was finally granted full legal protection.
Since its creation, The Rainforest Foundation has worked in partnership with indigenous communities throughout Brazil to develop such projects as education, border protection, and medical programs. Each project helps those who have lived in the rainforests since time immemorial in their efforts to protect their environment and fulfill their rights by assisting them in:
Securing and controlling the natural resources necessary for their long-term well-being, and managing these resources in ways that do not harm their environment, violate their culture, or compromise their future.
Developing the means to protect their individual and collective rights and obtain, shape, and control basic state services.
There is no simple short-term solution to the problems facing the indigenous rainforest cultures. In Brazil alone, there are 500 indigenous territories, of which more than half still need to be protected; 30% have been entered by gold miners, 40% are threatened by hydroelectric projects, and 50% are crossed by roads that facilitate the disruption of indigenous territories.
Building on our past successes, we will expand our work outside Brazil to identify and cooperate in strategic alliances with organizations that share our objectives. It is our goal to ensure that governments meet their obligations by launching programs and projects that give indigenous peoples a realistic opportunity to recover and defend their resources.
Sting and Trudie have fulfilled their original promise to Chief Raoni Mentuktire with the successful demarcation of Menkragnoti, but with each new gain we are faced with new challenges. The Rainforest Foundation is now a worldwide alliance, with offices in Brasilia, London, New York, and Oslo. We continue to spread global awareness of the issues, increase political pressure to halt this senseless destruction, and inspire participation of individuals to help protect the rainforest and its peoples.
Dendropsophus stingi is a species of frog in the Hylidae family. It is endemic to Colombia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical seasonally wet or flooded lowland grassland, swamps, freshwater marshes, intermittent freshwater marches, pastureland, and heavily degraded former forest.
The species was renamed in 2005 after celebrity musician Sting in recognition of his "commitment and efforts to save the rain forest" (Kaplan 1994). It’s said that this species is chosen exactly for renaming because the voice of that frog sounds like Police’s classic song’s verse “De Doo Doo Doo, De Da Da Da.”
we present here our favourite Sting’s song "Fragile", who reminds us not only our fragile existence but also the fragility of ecological balances that support life on our planet.
On and on the rain will fall
Like tears from a star like tears from a star
On and on the rain will say
How fragile we are how fragile we are
How fragile we are how fragile we are
You can hear it in youtube:
you can also hear the following songs by Police, or Sting about poverty, human rights, etc
Driven to tears
They Dance Alone